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October 2013
The Hum…
Volume 8 Issue 3
Las Gralarias Foundation Inc. Newsletter
Inside this Issue
Señor Tim’s Tales
Species Profile
Wisps from the
Cloud Forest
Foundation Update
Be Our Guest
Special Topics
Foundation Support
Membership /
Mission & Board
Calendar of Events
Cloud Forest Birding Tours
based at RLG:
17-26 January, 2014
17-24 February, 2014
12—20 July, 2014
For Details Contact :
[email protected] com
21 February, 2014: Five
Frog Creek Presentation at
Rocky River Nature Center
by Tim Krynak
1-18 May, 2014: Ecology and
Conservation Biology
Course based at RLG (see
article on page 7
SeñorTim’s Tales
by Tim Krynak, President
Autumn is one of my favorite seasons of the year.
Temperatures are perfect with cool nights and
pleasant days. This year in Cleveland we have had
stretches of perfect nights for bird migration as they
stream through Ohio on their way to winter retreats.
Just like the birds, we have started planning our
winter migration/retreat to Ecuador. We always look
forward to visiting the cloud forest with some of these
migrants and spending time with our friends and
colleagues at Reserva Las Gralarias (RLG). It’s
always great to see changes on the reserve and the
progress of restoration efforts, talking about research and education, and
getting re-energized for the work that will continue in the coming year.
Lately in Ohio, I have been working with two groups of animals that are
both in rapid population decline due to disease. White Nose Syndrome
continues to spread threatening several species of bats to potential extinction
and Ranavirus is a newly emerging disease being found worldwide stressing
mostly amphibians, but Eastern Box Turtles and Pallid Sturgeon seem to be
particularly susceptible too. I am regularly asked what someone can do to help.
Currently, in my opinion, what is needed is additional research on these
diseases along with funding these research
projects. Habitat protection always remains
important, but without the understanding of the
how these diseases get introduced, spread and
affect resident populations, proper conservation
cannot be obtained.
I feel in Ecuador the opposite is true. Their
forests are rapidly disappearing threatening all
the plants and animals. Disease is still a threat,
but habitat protection is the priority. Las
Gralarias Foundation (LGF) has made progress
raising money towards the Five Frog Creek’s
Headwater Project, Continued on Page 2
Volume 8 Issue 3
The Hum...
Continued from Senor Tim’s Tales page 1
but we would like to accomplish our goal of purchasing this 250 acre parcel that is currently for sale by the end
of 2014. We have raised over $3,000 for habitat acquisition but will need about $150,000 to purchase and
secure the land available, so we still need a great deal of help!
This is the time of the year when we appeal to all our friends and members for their continued support of
LGF and our mission of Conservation, Research and Education. As we continue to raise money for land
acquisition, we are also supporting local students via small scholarships, aiding summer field research
volunteers and providing assistance in the publishing a book of amphibians and reptiles in the Mindo area.
We thank you for your past contributions and continued support as we try and make this part of the world a
little better for future generation generations so that they may also fall in love with the natural world. Enjoy
this issue of The Hum as this is another great issue! All photos by Tim Krynak
Species Profile: Horse Nettle
By Tim Krynak, President
Nassa aequatoriana
Family Loasaceae is a mostly tropical American plant family of 14
genera and 265 species.
The Quichua Indians call it “Chine de Caballo” (chine means nettle and
caballo means horse).
This Ecuador endemic is found at Reserva Las Gralarias on the banks of
the upper reaches of Rio Santa Rosa including Five Frog Creek. This
showy, beautiful flower can easily be overlooked as it hangs downward,
hidden from view. However, brush up against the plant with bare skin and
you are sure to notice the stinging that it provides. This nettle is armed with
numerous stinging hairs on the stem and leaves. I call it the seven minute
itch as it stings and itches for about this period of time but then it is gone.
Photo by Tim Krynak
Newsletter Notes
By Nancy Charbeneau, Newsletter Editor
In this issue, the final one for 2013, we have a lot of great articles about the important projects going on
at Reserva Las Gralarias. This is a very exciting time for us and we especially need your help to continue all
the important work that is going on. Please consider helping the Las Gralarias Foundation build on what it
already has achieved by a generous end of year donation. Remember, all of your dollars goes directly to our
As always, you are invited to submit an article of your own! All you need to do is email a WORD document
(12 pt. Times New Roman) to me before February 3, 2014, along with any photos you would like included.
If you have questions about your submission, please email me. If I have questions about your article, I’ll let
you know; otherwise your article is likely to appear in the next Hum!
The Hum...
Volume 8 Issue 3
Wisps from the Cloud Forest
by Jane A. Lyons, Vice President
One of the things I always tell our researchers at Reserva Las Gralarias
(RLG) is that there are many more species here to be discovered and
described. Often they find that hard to believe considering that RLG is
located just two hours from a capital city with more than 2 million people.
But in the past decade or so there have been amazing and exciting
discoveries in the cloud forests of the Andes and a number of them at RLG,
including a new bird species, the Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owl (photo left),
new frog species such as the Las Gralarias Glass Frog, new butterfly and
moth species, new tree species, new bat species, a new snake species is
being described, and now an amazing new mammal species for the cloud
forest – the Olinguito (Bassaricyon neblina) announced by the Smithsonian
Institution on 15 August 2013 as the first new mammal carnivore described in the Americas in 35 years!
According to Smithsonian research zoologist Dr.
Kristofer Helgen, the discoverer of the Olinguito, the
discovery involved identifying old museum skins and
then backtracking from where those skins had been
collected to identifying the probable sites where the
species might still exist. Where?? In the mountainous
cloud forests of the northern Andes in Ecuador and
Colombia! A former employee at RLG had once
mentioned to me about an Olingo that ran through the
tops of the Cecropia trees, but I assumed he was
referring to the lowland or coastal Olingo (Bassaricyon
gabbii) found at much lower elevations. The new cloud
forest species has now been confirmed near RLG, and
in photos provided by Dr Helgen I noticed that the tree
the Olinguito was photographed in is one of the most
common tree species at RLG, Croton cupreatus. So, we
have our fingers crossed that an Olinguito will soon find our banana feeders (if it hasn’t already). In the
meantime we are happy to keep our kinkajou well-fed with bananas also!
For more information check out the link to the Olinguito scientific
-the-olinguito. Also, many thanks to Dr. Helgen for his assistance,
photos and promotion of cloud forest conservation!
More mammal sightings include a Southern Tamandua (small
anteater) seen along our road one September morning and also a Giant
Anteater seen along the road near the reserve in August. Both of these
species are known to occur in northwest Ecuador but sightings in this
area are very rare. On 19 September we had a huge swarm of army ants
behind one of the guest houses and so perhaps these anteaters are
following our ants! At any rate we are eager to get photos of these rare mammals on our trail cameras.
Captions & Photo Credits: Pygmy-Owl photo (Left top) by Winnie Poon, The adorable and newly described
Olinguito in a Croton tree (middle right photo) courtesy of Dr. Helgen and Mark Gurney, and a Kinkajou at
the banana feeder area of RLG (lower left photo) is from the RLG camera trap. Continued on page 4
The Hum...
Volume 8 Issue 3
Continued from Wisps on Page 3
One of our summer volunteers, Ben
Kerbs, returned home to Kansas and gave
a presentation about his work in the cloud
forest documenting tree species. It
appears his presentation was of interest to
others and we thank Ben for helping
spread the word about RLG.
With October begins again our frog
field work. We will be finalizing our work
on eleven endangered frog species at RLG
as part of the Save Our Species grant. We
look forward to a repeat visit by volunteer Rebecca Abuza who will
help our project of identifying and propagating critically important
plant species used by the frogs for singing, courting and laying eggs.
We will also be finishing our Strategic Frog Conservation Plan to
have a mechanism by which we can manage our frogs, conserve them
and their habitat and also encourage people who want to visit us and
see the frogs. Anyone with ideas for this plan is welcome to contact us.
Captions and Photo Credits: Top Left: Ben Kerbs at presentation courtesy of Ben Kerbs. Middle Right:
Nymphargus griffithsi, one of eleven rare frog species at RLG, photo by Carl Hutter
Foundation Update
By Katherine Krynak, Secretary
In November of 2005, Timothy Krynak, signed the final document
from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service officially creating Las Gralarias
Foundation (LGF). On that day, Tim’s signature was so much more than
just an official declaration of a 501c3 non-profit foundation; it was the
birth of a community. LGF is a true grassroots conservation movement
made up of a community of people from all over the world who share the
common goal of protecting the amazingly bio-diverse cloud forest region
of Ecuador (Reserva Las Gralarias or RLG). Our community is made up
* Children operating lemonade stands to “feed the frogs”
* Nature clubs at primary schools here in the U.S. and in Ecuador
* Artists and photographers who donate their talents to highlight our
* Conservationists who have never visited Ecuador but who are
willing to throw a fundraising party and toast our efforts and successes
Continued on page 5
Volume 8 Issue 3
The Hum...
Continued from Foundation Update page 4
* Nature festival visitors
* Small business owners who have little money to spare, but still donate knowing that every penny is
being used to protect the biodiversity of this planet for all
* Science teachers and the students they inspire
* Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts
* Earthday celebrators
* Biology/Ecology professors and researchers from universities world-wide
* Birdwatchers who dream of being serenaded by a Slatey-backed Nightingale-Thrush
* Birdwatchers who have been serenaded by the nightingale thrush’s majestic call and have seen fruits
of our community’s labors, and maybe even a Orange-breasted Fruiteater or two
* Family and friends of nature lovers who donate in their honor
* Individuals who do not have the funds to donate, but donate their time to spread the word about LGF
with the hope of inspiring others to simply do the same.
* Our amazing volunteer board members who take time from their busy schedules to help our efforts in
many ways.
This list continues to grow every single day. Together, we are all Las Gralarias Foundation. Our board and
officer positions are strictly volunteer based insuring that 100% of monetary donations made by our
community of supporters go directly to specified programs designated by you. This not only makes us fairly
unique in the non-profit world, it indicates that LGF is by all accounts, a true grassroots community. With
your sustained support, we will not only
protect the lands and habitat currently owned
by LGF and RLG, we will meet our current
habitat and wildlife protection goals and
continue to broaden our conservation efforts.
As this 2013 year comes to a close in our
eighth year, we are seeking support for our
Five Frog Creek Headwaters Protection
Program. We need our LGF community’s
help to protect this delicate glassfrog
amphibian community found nowhere else in
the world. For more information on this land
acquisition project and the species we aim to
protect, please visit:
Finally, the LGF board and officers
express our sincere gratitude for everyone’s
contributions to our conservation community.
Thank you.
Captions and photo credits:
Left (page 4): Glass frog photo by Tim
Right: Orange-breasted Fruiteater by Tim
The Hum…
Volume 8 Issue 3
Be Our Guest: Your Donations and Memberships Matter!
By Mary Ann Beauchemin, Membership
First of all, THANK YOU to those of you who have renewed your membership this year and/or made a
donation to the Las Gralarias Foundation to help support the work we do. These memberships and donations
are helping us try to purchase and protect the Five Frog Creek Headwaters area, support Environmental
Education, Scientific Research, Wildlife Conservation and more! As our board consists of all volunteers,
100% of your membership or donation goes directly to these goals!
Those of you who have not found the time to donate yet this year, please take a moment to send a check
(address on page 9) or go online donate through JustGive at
acton=donate&ein=20-3150278 to join, renew your membership, or make a donation.
Our most urgent goal is to raise $150,000 to buy the land currently for sale that encompasses the last
section of unprotected headwaters of the Santa Rosa River that runs through the reserve. We call this the Five
Frog Creek Headwaters project. Your tax-deductible
contribution will help us add this pristine piece of cloud
forest to the reserve before someone else buys the
property develops it, cuts down the primary forest, and
destroys the live natural creeks.
If you want a reminder of what the Five Frog Creek
area purchase will protect take a look at some of the
photos put together by Tim Krynak, our president at this
We can do this with your help. Please consider
helping us today!
Special Topics: ‘The Reach of Social Media’ and ‘Ecology and
Conservation Biology Course based at Reserva Las Gralarias’
By Jane A. Lyons, Vice President
The Reach of Social Media
Thanks to Steve Waldon, I became convinced to launch a Facebook page for Reserva Las Gralarias (RLG).
Steve is a conservationist and biologist in Seattle who is especially interested in aquatic fauna. He and his
wife Darcy visited RLG and he mentioned that he was interested in seeing how social media such as Facebook
could help promote conservation issues.
So Steve set up our page and it has been fun learning about and having communication via FB, although
with not very reliable internet service at the reserve it is often hard to keep it all updated and respond to the
various requests. We have had a small but steady stream of “Likes” and new folks adding us to their list of
contacts, including conservationists from as far away as Indonesia. I periodically post a photo and am
delighted to hear from a handful of folks who “like” it.
Continued on page 7
The Hum…
Volume 8 Issue 3
Continued from Special Topics on Page 6
In August I posted one of my all-time favorite photos taken
at RLG of one of my all-time favorite birds, the Scaled
Fruiteater (photo right) - not only a gorgeous bird but also one
of the key species that made me fall in love with the first
parcel of land that I later purchased to begin the reserve. The
photo was taken by Dusan Brinkhuizen, a birding guide for
Mindo Bird Tours, a superb field ornithologist and also a
superb bird photographer. Who wouldn’t love it?!
I was astounded a few days later to see that over 3000
people had seen the photo from our FB page! Wow! This
ideally will turn into more people thinking about birds,
conservation, the tropics and Reserva Las Gralarias. It is humbling to know that there are people in very
distant places who are interested in what we do. Thanks to Steve, Darcy, Dusan and all the folks who “like”
us. Spread the word!!
Ecology and Conservation Biology Course based at Reserva Las Gralarias
In this course offered by Grand Valley State University, students will explore and experience the ecology
and biodiversity of the cloud forest ecosystem of the equatorial Andes Mountains. They will also canoe and
explore the Amazon River headwaters —all the while being immersed in the South American, Incan and
Amazonian indigenous cultures in and around the Quito region.
Students will work in three river systems at the research reserve, Reserva Las Gralarias, located in the
Parish of Mindo along the Western front of the Andes mountain range. This program will explore land-use in
and around the reserve including the impact of rural farming and grazing. Students will have the opportunity
to assist with ongoing forest re-vegetation efforts. The baseline data collected during this program will help
inform the local community about enhancing and maintaining their local ecosystems.
During the second week of the program, students will move to a higher elevation and gain hands-on
experience of tropical wildlife rehabilitation at the Otavalo Condor Rehabilitation Center. Guided tours will
introduce students to the local community, including a trip to one of the best known Indian Markets in the
Next, students will travel into the Amazon basin
for a 5 day trip down the eastern slope of the Andes
to the Napo River, one of the largest Amazon
tributaries. We will canoe downstream to a jungle
lodge and conduct day and night trips to explore the
biology, ecology, and local culture. Throughout the
jungle, we will observe capybaras, howler and
capuchin monkeys, river otters, three-toed sloths,
several species of bats, and a huge variety of insects
and birds.
For more details contact, Dr. Eric Snyder, Biology
Department, 616-331-2417, [email protected],
Grand Valley State University, Michigan.
Apply online at:
Captions and Photo Credit: Club-winged Manakin by
Dusan Brinkhuizen
The Hum…
Volume 6 Issue 1
Foundation Support
Jon & Anne AnneKingJon & Anne King
By Mary Ann Beauchemin, Membership
A special THANK YOU to all of our supporters!
Margaret B. Robinson – in honor of Dr. Jane Lyons
Special Supporters:
Roy & Laurie Averill-Murray – for Five Frog Creek or the Herps of Mindo
Bill Davis
Contributing Friends:
Greg Gorton – in memory of Tonda Gorton
Jon & Anne King
New and Renewing Memberships:
Mike & Sue Clark – Environmental Education
Michael & Jo Ann Hamm
Special Gifts & Thanks:
Ben Kerbs, USA, summer volunteer who gave a presentation about RLG back in Kansas at Emporia State University
John and Nicole Mackay, Canada, for the donation of a new Birds of Ecuador field guide
Marty Calabrese – our fantastic Webmaster
Steve Waldron, and Darcy Berry, our Facebook gurus,
The Las Gralarias Foundation board – for all the time they volunteer to do the work of the foundation
The Hum…
Volume 6 Issue 1
Join the flock! Become a Las Gralarias Foundation Member!
100% of your membership and donations go to support Las Gralarias Foundation
programs including habitat acquisition, restoration and management, environmental
education, and field research. Over the past decade we have purchased over 1,000
acres of Andean cloud forest. We have turned pastures into woodland, provided
meaningful employment to local people, sponsored conservation oriented field
research, provided environmental education supplies and programs to local schools.
We can do even more with your help!
LGF Inc. is a 501©(3) organization
Please visit our website at:
Donation Categories
Please indicate the amount of your contribution in the line provided
SPECIFIC PROJECT DESIGNATION: Donations may be directed to a
specific project by circling one of the following:
Habitat Purchase
Field Research
Environmental Education
Donors of $1000 or more
_____ SPECIAL SUPPORTERS: Donors of $500 — $999
_____ CONTRIBUTING FRIENDS: Donors of $100 — $499
_____ BASIC MEMBERSHIP: $25 individual/$50 family/year
This Donation is a special gift (circle one): In Honor of
In Memory of
Membership information (Please print)
Please make check out to ‘Las
Gralarias Foundation’ and
send this form and check to:
Las Gralarias Foundation
24140 Gessner Road
Mailing Address:
Email address:
North Olmsted, Ohio 44070
Or visit:
You will receive a confirmation
receipt and thank-you via
Todays Date: _____________
** If you are an employee of a business that offers matching grants or own
a business and would like to become a corporate sponsor, please contact
Tim Krynak at [email protected] for more information.
The goal of Las Gralarias Foundation Inc. is to raise funds for projects
and programs of Reserva Las Gralarias, located in the parish of Mindo,
Ecuador, including the purchase of adjacent and nearby lands that will
enhance protection for rare endemic birds, plants and other animals as
well as supports reserve management, reforestation efforts, biological
research, environmental education projects, scholarships, and appropriate
tourism programs.
501 (c )(3) organizat ion
Las Gralarias Foundation Inc. Board
President: Tim Krynak, MS (Ohio)*
Vice President: Jane Lyons, Ph.D. (Ecuador)*
Secretary: Katherine Krynak (Ohio)*
Treasurer: Jo Ann Kubicki (Ohio)*
Membership: Mary Ann Beauchemin, MS (Texas)
Newsletter: Nancy Charbeneau, MLA (Texas)*
Bob Barth, Ph.D. (Texas)*
Noreen Damude, MS c (Texas)*
The Hum…
Las Gralarias Foundation Inc.
Juan M. Guayasamin , PhD. (Ecuador)
Jeffrey Miller, Ph.D. (Oregon)*
Shamus Terry, MA (Wisconsin )*
Edward Krynak, MS c (Michigan)
Web Master: Marty Calabrese MA (Ohio)
* Indicates a founding board member
Las Gralarias Foundation Inc.
24140 Gessner Rd.
North Olmsted, OH 44070